Ryan Gosling Reveals His Dog Sidekick in “The Fall Guy” Is 'Homage' to Eva Mendes' Late Pet Hugo

Ryan Gosling and Eva Mendes began dating after meeting on the set of 'The Place Beyond the Pines' and share two daughters, Esmeralda, 9, and Amada, 7

<p>Rick Kern/WireImage, Universal Pictures/YouTube, Donato Sardella/Getty</p> Ryan Gosling; the dog Jean Claude in

Rick Kern/WireImage, Universal Pictures/YouTube, Donato Sardella/Getty

Ryan Gosling; the dog Jean Claude in 'The Fall Guy'; Eva Mendes

Ryan Gosling's dog costar in his upcoming movie The Fall Guy is not just a punch line.

At a Q&A following the movie's premiere at SXSW Tuesday, Gosling, 43, and the movie's director David Leitch spoke about how they brought personal aspects from the actor's life into the movie, per The Hollywood Reporter. One such addition took the form of a dog that Gosling's character Colt takes on as a sidekick in the movie, and the actor said the dog character, who only responds to commands given in French, was inspired by his partner Eva Mendes' late pet.

“Eva used to have a dog named Hugo who was a Belgian Malinois who was an attack dog," he said during the Q&A, per the outlet. "He only spoke French. He’s passed now, so this is my homage to him."

Gosling's character Colt interacts with the dog, named Jean Claude in the movie, during his journey to find missing action movie star Tom Ryder (Aaron-Taylor Johnson), whom Colt works as a stuntman for. Filmmaker Leitch, 48, said the dog was portrayed by two female Kelpies in the film.

“We wanted to bring this additional character into the mix,” Leich said of the dog's inclusion in the film, per THR. “When you are in an action scene you are always trying to give yourself problems to make things fresh. Rain is good. Ice is good. And then adding an animal on set is always great.”

Related: Ryan Gosling and Eva Mendes' Relationship Timeline

<p>Rodin Eckenroth/WireImage ; Pascal Le Segretain/Getty </p> Ryan Gosling in Beverly Hills on Feb. 10, 2024; Eva Mendes in Rome on Oct. 30, 2010

Rodin Eckenroth/WireImage ; Pascal Le Segretain/Getty

Ryan Gosling in Beverly Hills on Feb. 10, 2024; Eva Mendes in Rome on Oct. 30, 2010

Gosling and Mendes, 50, began dating after they met on the set of their 2012 movie The Place Beyond the Pines and have been together ever since. The couple share two daughters: Esmeralda, 9, and Amada, 7.

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Mendes once told PEOPLE that her late dog Hugo "was so special" during an appearance at New York & Co.’s Fall 2018 fashion show. “I would just talk to him and I would treat him like a person, like, I think, most dog lovers do," she said at the time. "I just have that bond that will be there … He may be gone, but that feeling has never left me. It is one of the most special presences in my life.”

Related: Why Eva Mendes Didn't Walk Oscars Carpet with Ryan Gosling: 'Of Course She's Proud and Excited' (Exclusive)

Gosling and Blunt, 41, costar in The Fall Guy with Taylor-Johnson, 33, Hannah Waddingham, Winston Duke and Stephanie Hsu. The film is inspired by the 1980s television series of the same name that starred Lee Majors.

The Fall Guy releases in theaters on May 3.

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